This 2014, Master the Art of Link Building with a 5-Step Strategy

When it comes right down to it, link building works in the very essence of marketing itself; not only is link building an incredible way to acquire visibility of your website on authoritative, relevant websites, but it also adds cement in the foundation built upon the relationship that exists between businesses online.

That makes link building an essential cog in the business marketing machine, and in the coming year, you as a marketer must go back to their roots and master the of going about building great links to your website.  Consider this 5-step strategy proposed by Alison Groves of Raven Internet Marketing Tools:

Step 1: Research

What kind of websites do you want to discover?

To make sure they’re high quality, look for sites that are:

  • Highly authoritative
  • Seen as trustworthy
  • Sites you want to be associated with
  • Popular with competitors

Step 2: Outreach

Use your research to cultivate a list of high quality websites with whom to start building relationships.

  • Connect with website owners via social media
  • Organize your outreach:
  • Manage the outreach:
  • Share the load

Step 3: Organize

What do I need to know about the potential link and relationship I’m working on?

  • Date of first outreach
  • Date of follow up: You never want to be too forward or needy.
  • Type of link requested or acquired: Are you writing a guest post? Did you comment on a blog? Did the link happen organically?
  • Website domain: Yeah, you might need that one.
  • Website owner’s contact info: Can’t build a relationship if you can’t get in touch with them.
  • Conversation notes: If you’re talking to a ton of people, keeping detailed notes on the conversations you’re having will save you from a world of embarrassment later. Trust me.

Step 4: Follow up

Once you’ve done your research, performed your outreach, organized all the data, hopefully you will have heard back from some site owners and will be well on your way to building great relationships with them.

If so, make sure you are constantly maintaining your information. Every conversation you have, every step of the link building process (requesting links, to active links to even inactive links). The more information you have, the more you need to organize and maintain it.

Step 5: Report

One of the biggest struggles marketers have is proving our worth to our boss or client.

While the end game of traffic and conversions is somewhat apparent, how did we get there?

Acquiring mentions and the relationships that come along with that take time, and can be hard to quantify that time to those paying the bills.

B2B Social Media: Don’t Ask if it Works, See if it Fits

Who would have thought that even after nearly a decade of internet dominance, social media as a tool for B2B lead generation is still a “cyber myth”? People say it cannot be measured. Some say it doesn’t define a clear ROI. Others say there is no universal system for social media marketing. The rest? They’re getting all the benefits they could ask for. For a business that’s still in the stage of deciding whether or not to join the social media army, the question that lingers would be: does it really work?

But you see, that’s the wrong question to ask.

It’s like asking if Lady Gaga’s music is good or not. If you ask that question to a 50-year old pastor, you will most likely get a very different answer as compared to asking it to a 16-year old cheerleader. Social media marketing’s effectiveness is on a case-to-case basis, and therefore you can never really generalize whether or not it “works”.

An All-inclusive Catalog in choosing your Social Media Weapon this 2013

The more appropriate question would be: Will it suit my business? Or is it the right marketing strategy for my business to use?

B2B lead generation can take many forms, and if you choose to bank on social media, you might want to perform “tests” first before you give your full commitment. You see, while social media can be so powerful when used compatibly with your business, it also has the potential to ruin it if you don’t put enough thinking into it.

Because social media is not a one-size-fits-all piece of clothing, you’ll have to “try it on for size” to see if it is “right-fitted” for your business. Evaluate your capabilities and resources. Do you know how it works? Do you know the rules that govern it? Is the nature of your business fit to have a presence on sites like Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest? Do you have enough people to execute this campaign?

Then there are technical questions, ones that concern the lead generation aspect of social media marketing. Do you know how to measure your social media efforts? Do you know how your social media supporters would be converted to leads? Do you know what type of content you need to produce for your prospects?

Supposed you’re able to provide the answers to these questions and you’re able to assess your capacity to carry out the tasks, that’s the time you could reasonably tell whether or not social media marketing will work for your business. Don’t just ask if it works – you’ve got to see it yourself.

How To Make Your Events Telemarketing Campaign A Success

How To Make Your Events Telemarketing campaign a success

Be it for a private occasions or a business symposium, holding such events require that you get in touch with your prospective audience. To do this, you will need to conduct a good events telemarketing campaign. But here is the problem: how do you organize a successful campaign? There are just too many details that you should consider, and you might end up overlooking one of those that actually matter the most, in terms of potential B2B leads that you may have been able to collect. Still, this is something that should not give you problems from the start. As long as you have a strategy, you will be able to pull this off. So here is where you should start:

  1. Be ready for the waiting game – when performing such B2B appointment setting task, you need to have all the information in your hands. Getting these will take some time, so a little patience would be good in order to get your business of the ground better. Besides, if you hurry your pacing too much, you would often forget the small details about your prospects that can ruin your campaign and force you to go back to square one.
  2. Make a plan – a good marketing campaign calls for you to make a good marketing plan. This may take a lot of your time and effort, but if you want to be more productive come production time, then you will need to check on your calling list, assign the people and tools, as well as arrange for other facilities to be made available to the marketer.
  3. Know your budget – no marketing campaign can go without sufficient budget, so you need to ensure that funds are sufficient to sustain your campaign. A lot of lead generation campaigns fail because the person organizing such events fails to prepare enough money to keep their promoters going. Try not do the same mistake on your own, please?
  4. Always opt for measurability – to ensure that all your telemarketing efforts are in the right track, it pays that you know what metrics or measuring tools will be used. The right marketing metrics can help reveal interesting details that can help your operations better. Just make sure that the metrics you choose best represents the kind of business that you have.
  5. Optimization matters – when it comes to marketing and lead generation, this is an ever evolving art and science. You need to make sure that whatever process you have in place can be easily improved on or replaced by a better one. Legacy technologies and strategies never do well for a business in the long term, so it pays to keep things easy to optimize.

It is not that hard to promote your special events. As long as you know the proper events telemarketing strategies, then you would be in a better spot. Just be ready to adapt to any situation and any challenge that gets thrown your way. It is for your own good.

The Triple A of Telemarketing, Article 3 – Animation

 

For every process there is a culmination. It’s the zenith of all the patience, persistence, and perseverance that transpired during your efforts in achieving your goal. In the context of telemarketing, the culmination is the part where an appointment is set, or a lead has been generated.

But right between the middle and end parts of the call, there’s a phase where the telemarketer would shift its focus from the prospect to the sales pitch. That’s usually a very difficult transition to carry out, especially when the foundation of trust and confidence is not that strong.

That part reminds the prospect that he is indeed engaged in a sales call and the pitch is naturally inevitable. If the telemarketer is unable to smoothly and swiftly make that transition, the mission would be compromised, and the conversation will end up as nothing more than a chit chat.

So how do you effectively transition from attention to animation?

First, drop the “sales pitch”.

“A ‘pitch’ typically conjures up images of a one-way presentation, with the salesperson talking at a prospect, which is not the effective way to sell,” says Art Sobczak, President of BusinessByPhone.com. After listening to the prospect regarding their company’s needs and wants, it’s your turn to “animate” the situation by offering to help them.

Avoid generic statements.

Make sure that in describing how your product or service works, include the things that the prospect mentioned, to make it sound like it was specifically designed for them. For instance, instead of saying a generic statement like “Our portal solution is the recognized leader in efficient user experience”, address specific concerns by saying, “Our portal solution can reduce your user-experience woes by implementing an integrated sign-on system and synthesized log-in portals.”

You need to make them feel that what you’re offering is a recommendation, and not a sales pitch. By using their own words and language, describe to them how your product or service can directly address specific aspects of the challenges they mentioned earlier. By doing that, they would immediately see the benefits. It will also facilitate in convincing them to agree to an appointment or give out their pertinent information.

And lastly, don’t forget to add a little sauce to your dish by patting a prospect’s back after a successful conversation. Let them know that their decision to consider your product or service was a brilliant move, and it shall not be a subject of regret. Make them feel appreciated and express your excitement towards future interactions. Thank them for their time, and end the call on a pleasant note.

The Triple A of Telemarketing, Article 2: Attention

If you ask people to list down what they think are the qualities of a good telemarketer, they would probably include things like energetic, argumentative, persuasive, persistent, good talker, has a pleasant voice, warm and friendly, and professionally articulate.

A few, if not none, would include traits like keen observer, empathetic, and a good listener.

That’s because the standard persona of a telemarketer (or anyone involved in sales and marketing, for that matter) is someone who “controls” a conversation with a prospect. It is somewhat expected that the telemarketer would do all the convincing and selling, and then wait for a yes or a no, and that’s it.

Prospects should not lie at the mercy of telemarketers – it should be the other way around.

The flow of the conversation should be dictated by the one who ultimately has the power to take things to the next level, and that power is never rested on telemarketers. The decision comes from the prospects; therefore they should be listened to, not imposed upon.

This is how a telemarketing call should go:

  1. Telemarketer introduces self and company
  2. Telemarketer asks permission to discuss things, prospect agrees
  3. Telemarketer asks probing questions
  4. Prospects answer, may elaborate freely, while telemarketer listens
  5. Telemarketer acknowledges concerns, offers help
  6. Prospect asks questions, telemarketer answers
  7. Telemarketer offers appointment, prospect agrees
  8. Telemarketer thanks prospect, ends call

As you can see, the progress of a call relies greatly on prospects. If they respond negatively to any of these stages, then the call will fail. Telemarketers should aim to serve prospects, not overpower them. Prospects deserve attention, and to do that, there must be sincerity.

Most of us don’t really listen. Sometimes we just hear words, and if we do listen, we’re often just waiting for the other person to finish talking so we could be the one to talk. We often crave for our friends to listen to us, not realizing that we ourselves never lend our ears to them.

The greatest mistake a telemarketer could do is to dismiss whatever the prospect has just said. Some telemarketers respond with something completely unrelated, or repeat something that’s already been settled. Why? Because they don’t listen, and they’re too preoccupied with how they’re going to deliver their pitch.

How to Lose a Prospect in 5 Minutes: The Ultimate Disaster Guide for Telemarketers

According to forbes.com, here are some of the ways to give proper attention by listening:

  • Be attentive, but relaxed.
  • Keep an open mind.
  • Listen to the words and try to picture what the speaker is saying.
  • Don’t interrupt and don’t impose your “solutions.”
  • Wait for the speaker to pause to ask clarifying questions.
  • Try to feel what the speaker is feeling.
  • Pay attention to what isn’t said.

It’s a simple give and take relationship. If prospects feel that you’ve given them the attention they deserve, they’d be more open to consider what you have to say in the end. That makes it easier for you to better understand your prospect, establish a relationship and achieve your goals.

Improve Your Appointment Setting Call Handling

 

 

In any appointment setting campaign, calling B2B leads prospects on the phone is a normal activity. After all, identifying business leads and nurturing them for future conversion is not something you can do simply online. Either you talk directly to your prospects or, if not possible, use direct communication tools for it, like telemarketing, as an example. But since we are talking about calling prospects, we need to be good in handling it. So, how will you go about it, then?

First, you should plan your campaign carefully. All lead generation campaigns that fail lack the proper planning in their processes. If you want to be effective in attracting the attention of prospects, you need to prioritize learning what makes them tick. And that requires lots of planning.

Second, build rapport. Banter with them, if you know them already. If not, show them the necessary courtesy and go straight to the point.

Third, inform them of your call. Either by email or another business call, you need to tell them beforehand why you are calling in the first place.

Fourth, ask good questions. You need to know what exactly your prospects are looking for in the first place. Asking them good questions will give you clues about what you can actually offer them.

Lastly, do not waste their time. Time is precious, and you as a marketer should understand that. It is the same thing with your prospects. As a rule, the less time you need to spend in order to tell them your purpose, the better.

ese are just some tips that you can follow in order to be more effective in handling calls for sales leads. Will there be anything else you can add?

 

Your LinkedIn Company Page Now Coughs Up Some Mighty Metrics

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If your LinkedIn Company Page is more than just a brochure and you use it to actually grow your network, as you should, then this latest update from LinkedIn should bring a smile to your face, or even elicit a little dance, for those among us who are reeeally into social analytics.

These new Company Page analytics are a vast improvement over LinkedIn’s previous “Page Insights” and “Follower Insights”. According to LinkedIn, the new analytics will help you:

– Identify the updates that drive the greatest engagement
– Filter engagement trends by type and time period
– Get more detailed demographic data about your followers
– See the growth of your follower base and benchmark it against similar brands

The Next Web shows a few screenshots to give brand and social media managers an idea of what the tool delivers:

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“A huge amount of information is given to detail the engagement for each post, including the total number of impressions, clicks and interactions…Nestled underneath is a a graphical overview of  the performance of each update over time, split into impressions on the left and engagement on the right. Each line graph is split between organic clicks and those achieved by Sponsored Updates – a subtle nudge towards LinkedIn’s premium features. It’s also worth noting that the filters on the right can be used to look at clicks, likes, comments and shares specifically too.”

You can read the complete Next Web article here.

Telemarketing Surveys: Three Questions To Answer

Conducting a good lead generation campaign requires that you have the most updated information available. And while you can get the needed details from the internet or other sources, time may not be to your advantage. That is why conducting telemarketing surveys seem to be very popular with business owners. You get to directly talk to your prospects, and if you get lucky, be able to glean important details that will help you generate more B2B leads. Of course, before your phone surveys begin, you need to answer three crucial questions:

    1. Do you have the resources to store data? Remember, the person handling your appointment setting process may not be the same person who will personally meet with clients. That is why data entry is important. It is the same principle with your telemarketing surveys. You need to be able to store and keep date easily and reliably.

 

    1. Can I handle management changes smoothly? This happens when the process to store and analyze data, the people handling it, as well as the skills needed, needed to be changed. This makes yearly comparisons difficult, not to mention forcing employees to learn new skills or spend more time entering new data, instead of analyzing it or using it already.

 

  1. How sure am I that the data is accurate? This is a question that a lot of marketers ask themselves. People can lie, data can be too outdated for your taste, duplicate content, not to mention failing to update the information due to other factors.

Once you can satisfactorily answer these questions, and if it all leans on the positive, then by all means go ahead with your lead generation and data profiling campaign.

Facebook Hashtags: How Will It Help Lead Generation?

With social networking giant Facebook introducing the hashtag feature on its pages, social media marketers have been given another tool in their lead generation and appointment setting efforts. With the hashtag function, Facebook users can now consolidate all information available regarding the tagged topic. This could be very useful for businesses seeking more customers from the social network. Being able to monitor trends and discover content has always been Facebook’s major weakness, a frustrating situation for marketers in search of new sales leads.

Similar in function to the hashtags you see on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr, Facebook’s hashtag feature can now add more contexts to their post, or link their post to a larger discussion already happening in the social media site. By clicking on the hashtag, users will be bought to a feed displaying what others are saying about that particular event or topic. Companies can take advantage of this by adding hashtags to their relevant posts. If their post is attractive enough, it will entice visitors to view their company page as well, leave their contact info, and leave the rest to the telemarketing team.

This is an important innovation in terms of mining for B2B leads.

There are plenty of marketing and lead generation opportunities that your business can explore with Facebook’s new feature. Yes, it is still in the testing stages (with only a few users given permission to use this feature for now), but you can expect this to roll out in the near future.

Generating More Sales Leads In The Economic Squeeze

 

 

Times can be really tough, that is fact. For Asian countries, this is not helping at all. This can be worse if your client base is in Europe, which is still in the midst of an economic squeeze. Conducting a lead generation campaign to attract prospect there can be full of challenges. Of course, not everything is that bleak. Think of the current situation as a mere challenge for Asian marketers who are intent on generating more sales leads. And there are ways for you to deal with that.

The first point you need to consider before you conduct your appointment setting campaign is choosing your market carefully. Putting yourself in a niche can be a good way to protect yourself during hard times since niche markets are more likely to be resilient (not to mention more willing to spend more) than the mainstream.

Secondly, monitor signs of trouble in the market. If you see that you are gradually losing market shares, or if a new product or service is becoming the talk of the town, then that is the perfect time to do damage control. It also helps if you can preemptively deal with any changes in the market, or employ an information dissemination tool, like telemarketing, to your advantage.

Lastly, stay flexible. You do not have to be lean or anything, unless being a large company becomes an annoyance. What is important here is that you have enough people and resources to deal with any rapid changes in the market. If you can do that, then you would still be productive in your B2B leads.

It is not that bad idea, right?

Simplicity Is Beauty For Lead Generation

 

It is said that a true test for a chef is to make a simple dish taste exquisite. That is also the same principle in marketing as well. How can you simplify the lead generation process without sacrificing quality and productivity, indeed, actually end up improving, of generating sales leads? Turning a complicated concept into a simple, impactful, and meaningful message is nothing less than a complex exercise. How you do that would be the true test of your ability as a marketing and appointment setting specialist.

So, how do you make that happen?

First of all, you need all the data that you can get. Be it figures, graphs, reports, etc. all of these can serve as information source. Once you have everything you need, now is the time for you to take them apart, piece by piece, looking for that common detail that they all share, that one detail that pretty much summarizes what your company’s product, purpose, and market is all about. Sure, this can be real work, and you might not be able to manage it, so you might want to leave the analysis to a business database agency.

Next is the crafting of the message. Remember, your message must tell a story, one that appeals to the emotions. Emotions are what influence a customer to buy from you or not. Next is the communication medium to use. It must be one that can have the maximum impact on your audience at the shortest time. Direct marketing tools like email and telemarketing might be good places to start. No matter what you use, if it can help bring you a lot of B2B leads, then stick to it.

Lastly, always be human. Marketing lead generation is a social activity. You are dealing with real people with their own idiosyncrasies and preferences. You have to adjust your marketing efforts to meet the unique needs of your audience.

Why Invest In Snackable Content For Appointment Setting?

 

There are a lot of talks these days about creating snackable content to anchor your appointment setting campaign on, but there is always that issue about what exactly should be a ‘snack-sized’ content. Why go for smaller content? How can that improve our ability to generate B2B leads?

To tell you the truth, the average memory span of a human being is just 2.8 seconds, much lower than even a goldfish. And while most of us would bemoan the deterioration of the human mind, marketers like us would have to make do with what we have and adjust our appointment setting efforts accordingly. We want to increase our market’s awareness of our business, so we should be able to craft content that is not just good enough to attract their attention, but also compelling enough to keep their sales leads audience beyond their 2.8 second-long attention span.

It is not that difficult. As long as you know the needed keyword used by your audience, then utilize it in a fresh, informative, and attractive content, it would be your win. You could even use your snackable content as a compelling call-to-action for your prospects. Have them sign up to your offer, or probably leave their number so that your telemarketing team could follow them up. There are loads of things you can do with shorter content.

Just make sure that you know who you audience is, the products or services you want to offer, as well as the content you are creating for your lead generation campaign.